Episode 53: Five Strategies to Combat Unexpected Change

Have you lately checked in your altitude of your attitude? How are you feeling about your future? Hey, let go of the past and let’s build a bigger, better, bolder you starting today. Hey, good morning. I’m Jimmy Williams with Live a Life by Design. As you can probably tell, my lips are working better. I have successfully gone through this Bell’s Palsy issue with my right side of my face. And I feel wonderful. I feel rejuvenated. I’ve got birds singing outside the studio. I’ve got our kitten here at the house at the door. She is wanting to come in and be on the air with us today. Although, I’ll be honest with you, she didn’t sign her contract and agreement with our terms. 

But hey, we’re proud to be here with you this morning. Giving you your Monday morning moments of motivation to help you start your week on the bright spot of life. You know, today we’re gonna visit for just a few moments about something so vital and important to your life that I know you’ll want to take some notes today. The reason I know this is vital is because so many of my friends, so many of my family members, and just so many of the people I get to meet across this world tell me that they are facing this one powerful negative emotion in life and they’d like some direction on how to either avoid it or how to overcome it. 

And so I wanted to bring to you today some aspects of life, some strategies if you will, that will help you with this area. This one emotion has cost many people their happiness in life. If there’s one thing that you can take possession of, create, maintain is your own happiness. So this one powerfully negative emotion can be avoided by simply following the three strategies we willl share with you today. That emotion is regret.

Regret is defined as to feel sad, repentant or disappointed over something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity. So in other words, what I would say to this is regret comes from living in the gap. My business coach, Dan Sullivan, of Strategic Coach, defines the gap as looking for your expectation results as being ideal. Ideal. In other words, it’s either the optimum, the most perfect, or it’s failure. And rather than do that and stay in that gap going, I could never measure up to the ideal. The best thing to do is to look back and see how far you’ve grown. See how far you’ve come. See what you’ve accomplished. See what the wins, wins, the wins in your life have been over the last few months. 

You know the critical thing here is, is do not stay in that gap for very long. You know, looking back on your life, are there area’s or decisions that you made that could have been given a little more thought or research prior to acting? You know I’ve always attempted to live my life to its fullest. This sometimes means that I make a decision that could have a future impact in which all of the facts were not known at the time that I needed to make that decision. You know we’re not living in a perfect world. And since we’re not in a perfect world, that means we don’t always have all of the facts we need to know or all the money we need to have or we don’t have all the people on the team in the right spots. These are just certain things we have to work on in life that we realize the ideal is not always there. 

And so, I never examine the outcome of the context of ‘if only’ so I can maintain my positive outlook. For the person that says ‘if only I had a million dollars I could start the company of my dreams’. ‘If only I had another person to assist me in my work I could get more done’. ‘If only my new car that I don’t own were high end luxury car’. You know, I will tell you that ‘if only’s’ of the world get nothing done. They regret their entire lives because they did not act on that dream that they had. And so at the end of the day I don’t want you to do this. 

My entire life has been led by another credo I’d like for you to start using in your vocabulary of positivity today. That is, ‘I’m glad I did’ instead of ‘I wish I had’. So I’m glad I did do this, even if I only accomplished 50% of the goal, I did get 50% done. You see I’m always a glass half full. And at the end of the day, that attitude determines my ultimate altitude in life. You know, when I started the show today I said ‘Hey, have you checked your attitude altitude?’ And the point I’m getting at there is you control between your ears the thermostat of how hot you want your life to burn. Do you want to be just a candle over here in the window, or do you want to be that lighthouse that attracts others to you in a safe manner but they know that what you’re doing is in the best interest of those around you.

So be a lighthouse today. Put your light out there brightly so everyone can see it. Take pride in what you’ve done so far in life and I hope after today I empower you to go even greater heights. Do you recall the name Deshauna Barber? Ms. Barber is a logistics commander for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit of the U.S. Army in Fort Meade, Maryland. She is an IT analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce. Now if I stopped right there you would be listening to this and thinking, who is Deshauna Barber? Why is he even bringing her up? I’ve never heard of her. Was she ever elected to a major office, or was she ever someone that was famous in theatre or movies. The answer is no to all of those.  However, let me continue describing and I’ll bet you know who I am talking of today, but just a few more hints. 

One of Ms. Barber’s most challenging roles outside of working in the U.S. Department of Commerce and serving in the military is that of Miss USA 2016. You heard me. Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber. Deshauna’s parents and siblings also served in the military, and she decided to join the military at the young age of 17. Her quote was, “It was a family tradition and honor to serve our country”. Wow, that’s just powerful in itself. Another of her roles is that of a motivational speaker. Her focus is the empowerment of women to achieve life on their own terms while denying the word ‘No’ as a negative connotation. She doesn’t take the word ‘No’ as being a negative in her life. I like her already. 

Deshauna was denied her local crown as her Miss Washington DC 6 times. She eventually said after the 3rd loss she began to see herself and the challenge that lay before her in a whole different light. This is where she came up with her ‘No, is not a negative connotation’. She was denied 6 times the winning of her local crown, and on that 7th attempt, magic happened. Even more focused to achieve the title, she persisted though many people kept telling her to “forget about it” and “move on with your life”. As someone that does not live a life of regret, but one of accomplishment, she insisted and persisted and won the local crown on that 7th attempt. 

A few months later, she was literally walking the runway as the newly crowned, Miss USA 2016. Now had she said to herself, well, three times is enough, three strikes you’re out, I’m done. But she had a desire, a goal, a passion to achieve what she set out to be her big audacious goal. So the point I’m making today is, is she does not live a life of regret. We defined regret earlier as the missed opportunities. She did not want to be a missed opportunity. She wanted to be a success. When she is asked to speak publicly she leaves the audience with a thought that is sound advice. Don’t be afraid of failure, but be terrified of regret. 

One of the ways that I live my life by design is sharing with you, our subscribers and listeners each week. The episodes this podcast all come from the heart and I am honored that you have chosen us to share some of your valuable time each week. A recent iTunes review, by The Cogent Advisor really touched my heart. It said, “Great podcast! Great perspective, I so appreciate the positive attitude Jimmy passes on: On to his listeners. On to his team members. On to his clients. On to his friends. He actually lives all of the advice in such a positive way himself. I’m lucky to have met and learned from Jimmy myself. You should too!” Thank you, The Cogent Advisor, for your kind and wonderful comments. If you would do us a huge favor, go to iTunes today and leave a rating and review of the podcast. By taking less than two minutes of your busy schedule, you can help us reach others that needed uplifting message in their life. You can be a part of our podcast by conveying others your thoughts of this show. Thank you so much for your support, Now back to the show. 

Strategy Number 1: Follow Your Dreams

The first strategy to eliminating or reducing the likelihood of regret in your life is to follow your dreams. Not someone else’s. As we have stated on this podcast and prior episodes, you are the best you in this world. You have a purpose on this planet. Seek out what you enjoy in life that will benefit others to seek their value. With today’s TV shows reporting supposed reality TV about wealthy families and their “struggles with fame and stardom” it’s easy for us to place ourselves in the same environment. This is a huge mistake since you were designed for a purpose and equipped with skills and talents to achieve your purpose. By envisioning ourselves in the role of someone else, we are denying our minds and bodies the opportunity to make a difference in the world that may be the catalyst for someone you meet to find themselves. Strategy number one, to reduce or eliminate regret in your life is follow your own dreams and live an abundant life of happiness. 

One of my favorite actors, back when I was much younger, was a young martial artist that came into movies and TV by the name of Bruce Lee. This famed martial artist, stunt man, and actor remarked, “Don’t fear failure. Not failure, but low aim is the crime. In great attempts its is glorious even to fail”. What Bruce Lee’s really saying, don’t set the bar so low that you can achieve all of your goals without really stretching your talents, time, and mental energy. He’s basically telling you that if you achieve all your goals, perhaps maybe you set them a little too low. If you’ve had to strain and stretch and create greater capabilities within yourself, greater mindsets of maturity. How about leadership qualities are enhanced to reach a goal, and most likely that was the one that would take you to newer heights. It was healthy for me to realize failure during my early career. To face the tough times, that lead me to be the person I am today. It gave me wisdom and a keen sense of those around me that are impacted by my actions. 

You see, everyone thinks they are simply an island. And that’s just not true. Whether you acknowledge it or not, there are many other people impacted by your being on this planet. Failure is one of the best teachers for us. It is through the act of failing, an attempt at something that we learn, a better method of accomplishing the goal. Just like the example of Miss USA 2016, Deshauna Barber, exhibited in her attempts in ultimate winning of the local crown, you must continue moving forward after falling down. 

You’ve heard me say many times on this podcast that one of my favorite heroes of history is Sir Winston Churchill. This gentleman knew what defeat, he knew what anguish was when it came to achieving greatness in his life. His own father, not so much a loving figure to him, told young little Winston that he would never even complete elementary school. The young boy had a difficult time sitting in his chair to learn, and all the school teachers that taught him told his parents that little Winston was never going to accomplish much and would never actually be a wealthy citizen as his parents were. He may have money for a short time but he was never going to receive greatness in his life because of his inability to focus. 

Step Two: Learn to Fail

Boy did Winston get the last laugh on his teachers. Sir Winston Churchill said this about success and failure. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” Many boxers I’ve heard say statements, and you wouldn’t think that boxers would be that profound in their language, but there was one that said, “it is not the number of times you are knocked down that is failure, the failure is realized when you do not rise again”. To me, you will suffer failure in life. If we can all agree on that, then you’ve won 90% of the battle. But the other 10% is that deep down, in your heart, mind and soul of reaching further seeing more distance in front of you, not just seeing the top of the mountain, but simply the next step up, that makes you successful. 

You see, we do not simply sit back after we’ve been knocked down once and go, hmm, I guess this wasn’t meant to be. Nope, that’s the way of those that are living mediocre lives and those that will not achieve greatness in their own hearts and minds. You are different. You have been empowered for greatness. You will realize greatness in your life. So the second strategy of either avoiding or eliminating regret is to heed these powerful words of both Sir Winston Churchill and Bruce Lee. Aim high, you’re going to live your own dream, strategy one, but number two is learn to fail and do not accept it as the finality of your goal. You can achieve accomplishment.

Strategy No. 3: Take Action

And the third strategy for avoiding regret in life is a very simple word and a very difficult task. That is avoiding regret in life requires action. You must take action. Don’t waste time waiting for the perfect environment. Certain level of income or any other criteria that you don’t currently possess to pursue your dream in life. No one has ever said on their deathbed, that he wished he would have worked more in the office. No way! We should strive to leave this planet with a smile on our face knowing that our dream was realized on earth and has benefited mankind in an exponential way. 

Oliver Wendell Holmes is credited with the quote, “Most of us go to our graves with our music still inside us”. What was Mr. Holmes really saying? That many of us do not bring to the future, do not bring to those around us what truly is our talent within us. As I said you have been empowered for success. For greatness. You’ve been engineered for success. You were made for a purpose on this planet. When you find that day that you go to your mind and say, I know why I am here will be the day that you truly start your life. 

Whether you realize your goals, achieve your dreams, it’s all dependent on whether you act today or not. Don’t take tomorrow for granted. Don’t put off tomorrow what can be achieved today. We’ve heard this all of our lives as children. Go to your bed at night as if you are not granted another day. Feel proud of the actions you’ve taken today that move you forward in this life. If you do nothing else this next week, after you listen to this podcast is sit down and write down what one of your dreams may be in life. Write it down in your journal. In a future episode, you’re gonna hear me talk about how I journal and how it fuels my passion and how it helps me stay on track with what I’m doing to seek out my dreams and goals in life. You can do the same. This is not something that is purely limited to just me. Obviously I have learned form some of the great masters. Jim Rohn, Zig Ziggler. You know, Winston Churchill. I read a copious number of books. I love to read about those that are successful in life and learn from them that it might someway help my life trail to be a lot easier. 

So to summarize the three strategies to avoiding or eliminating regret in your life, is 1: Follow your own dreams, be you. Number 2: Don’t fear failure. And number 3: Take action now. By implementing these three strategies in your life today, you will not erase the decisions of the past, they are already written. But you will build a bigger future for you and your family. So let’s end this episode of Live a Life by Design with the lyrics of one of my favorite 70s rock n roll bands, songs, Boston. This song hit me so hard as a young man that it literally motivated me. This song was one that I’d listen to many many times, as I probably burned up the 8 track player in my truck. Yeah, that tells you my age folks, but the point I’m making is I find things to plant in my mind that give me the seeds that will grow into something more powerful then I hear today. And this song did that, so I want to give proper credit to Boston, Tom Scholz was the writer of the song and the lyrics. But here are the words and see if these words reminisce a little bit with you about starting your future today. Realize your dreams. Don’t fear the failure that may come and will come and take action now. The lyrics say something like this:

"Don't look back
A new day is breakin'
It's been too long since I felt this way
I don't mind where I get taken
The road is callin'
Today is the day".

Oh, makes the hair on my arm stick up. Man that give me the goose bumps.

 "I can see
It took so long to realize
I'm much too strong
Not to compromise
Now I see what I am is holding me down
I'll turn it around."

Man that is powerful to me. These gentlemen that wrote that song and sang and recorded touched the lives of millions of us as they went on to greatness in rock n roll. That means they were following their dream. This is not your dream, but you have your own dream to help impact millions out there. One of my dreams is that this podcast will bring happiness, positivity, and it will bring guidance to someone out there that’s listening today that will help them realize that they are truly special. That they have, within them, all the tools necessary to realize their dream. They just have to keep looking forward. 

This week, give yourself some time to think about the future you wish to realize that will leave the world in a better place. This doesn’t have to be a material impact, but rather one that can’t be measured in money. Perhaps it is a best selling novel, a painting or sculpture that will be displayed in the Smithsonian. Or a song that changes someone’s life simply from the lyrics you have written from within you. Go out and live your dream by conquering failures grip on you and take action today to live your life without regret, until next week, Live a Life by Design!

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